Harvard’s Dean Rescinds Chelsea Manning’s Fellowship, Calling It A ‘Mistake’ After Backlash

09.15.17 10 months ago


Shortly after Harvard’s Kennedy School announced that Chelsea Manning would be one of its visiting fellows in the school’s Institute for Politics for the 2017-18 academic year, former deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell resigned as a fellow in a different department at the school. After receiving criticism from Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director, Harvard rescinded its invitation to Manning.

In a statement released Friday, Douglas W. Elmendorf, the dean of the Kennedy School, said, “I now think that designating Chelsea Manning as a Visiting Fellow was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility.”

However, Elmendorf says that the school will still try to get Manning on campus to speak:

Elmendorf decided to withdraw the invitation after realizing that “many people view a Visiting Fellow title as an honorific,” though the school had not intended to “honor [Manning] in any way or to endorse any of her words or deeds.”

She is still welcome to spend a day at the Kennedy School and speak at the school’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, the dean said.

“I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation,” Elmendorf added.

The offer to Manning was withdrawn shortly after CIA Director Pompeo wrote a scathing letter calling Harvard’s decision “shameful” and announcing his decision to back out of a speaking event at Harvard.

Responding to the loss of her fellowship spot on Twitter, Manning was succinct:

“This is what a military/police/intel state looks like. The CIA determines what is and is not taught at Harvard,” she wrote.

(Via Washington Post)

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